ON TOP OF MOUNT EVEREST

ELEVEN DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY AND OTHER EXPLORATIONS OF SCIENCE IN ACTION

In lightly revised articles that first appeared in Highlights, Myers looks at 11 topics in human biology, from hard-to-explain puzzlers like laughter and tongue rolling, to the deleterious effects of loud noises, ultraviolet rays and smoking. Boiling down (cited) research reports, he writes in fluent, informal prose, slipping in references to questions or comments received from children along with the occasional statistic or scientific term. Though he sounds several cautionary notes—particularly about the dangers of cigarettes, which Boyles backs up with a chapter on smoking as an addiction among young people—the overall tone is light, bucked up by Rice’s colorful diagrams and cartoon vignettes, plus a lively photo or two. Consistently attentive to the interests of his intended audience, Myers is one of the most engaging science writers around; here he’s in top form, and rare is the reader who will be able to resist his invitation to see what makes us, and the world, tick. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-59078-252-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2005

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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